Innovative App for Detecting Malnutrition Wins 2023 Gold Anthem Award


Foundation: Nike

"We're working to change the paradigm of how we screen for malnutrition, which can ultimately help treat more children and save more lives."

That's the pronouncement of Laura Medialdea Marcos, the lead researcher behind a new app that's been named the Anthem Award for Best Humanitarian Action & Services Innovation by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

The app, developed by the global nonprofit Action Against Hunger, uses body scanning technology and morphological techniques to compare scans of a child with a healthy child to detect severe acute malnutrition, the Atlantic reports.

"Current detection methods are time-consuming and inaccurate, with health workers cumbersome bucket scales and heavy height boards from village to village," Medialdea Marcos says.

"To equip health workers with effective tools to identify malnutrition more quickly and accurately, Action Against Hunger's new mobile app can accurately screen children for the deadliest form of hunger, severe acute malnutrition (SAM), with just a quick photo."

Action Against Hunger has run large-scale pilots in Senegal, where more than 90 clinics are using the app, and plans to expand the program to Guatemala, Mali, and Mauritania.

"Globally, an estimated 75% of acutely malnourished children who need treatment cannot access it even though extremely cost-effective treatments have a...

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